Saturday, December 15th, 2018

Music returns to Jeddah parks and restaurants after 40 years

The city of Jeddah is witnessing the return of singing groups to restaurants, which are an extension of an old era dating back a few decades when musical evenings were organized in a number of parks, the most famous of which was the “Kilo 10 Park” located south of Jeddah and the Al-Attas restaurant located in Bab Sharif, Al-Watan reported.

These places are very popular among families who enjoy the presence of Saudi artists in an atmosphere of family entertainment, which are different from the large concerts held by prominent Saudi artists such as Mohammed Abdo and Rabah Saqr, and others.

Some places, such as restaurants and cafeterias charge a fee ranging from SR250 to SR300 that include juice and dinner orders, while other places do not charge any fees other than the customer ordering food from the menu.

Dr. Abdullah Manna, noted writer, said singing was part of people’s lives in Jeddah. The singers were present at all social occasions. Each family was keen on hiring a singer to perform at the arrival of a new baby or a wedding party. “People used to sing themselves often. After finishing the exercises or matches, I used to find players and athletes singing alongside Saudi sports clubs. There were famous parks in Jeddah where there were many activities, and singing was performed by artists and bands, such as the “10 Kilo Park” located south of Jeddah, the Al-Attas restaurant in Bab Sharif and the amusement park casino next to the Red Sea Hotel overlooking the Corniche,” said Manna.

Dr. Mannaa spoke about singing in Jeddah, saying, “An artist named Abdel Fattah Abd Rabbo used to play the oud until other artists emerged such as the artist Talal Madah — may God have mercy on him — then Mohammed Abdo, Fawzi Mahsoun, and others.

A history researcher specialized in the city of Jeddah, Walid Shalabi, explained that in the cafes there was a so-called hakawati (a person who tell stories), and people gathered around him to listen to his stories and sometimes played the oud practicing different genres of singing.

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